Where are we now?
We left Quintana Beach 2 days ago and dropped off our home on wheels at American Greenfuels for the vegetable oil conversion. We’ve been thinking about and planning the logistics of this, it seems, for so long now that it’s very surreal that we’re actually doing it. Our RV will run on waste vegetable oil from restaurants saving us money and dramatically decreasing our travel emissions. Wow. We’ll be taking photos and Chris will be describing the process when all is said and done over on his blog.
I’ll blog Quintana Beach when I get back to the RV computer and the pics therein :). We’re currently staying at the home of our friends Kelly and Josh Quinn while the dogs have gone to Le Spa Du Barb (aka the home of our friends Barb and Steve Lundgren) as we visit and prepare for the upcoming Rethinking Everything Conference. We’ve been able to make ourselves very comfortable here in their small home with their family of five. We’ve all been chatting about the upcoming conference, stocking up on snacks for our families for the conference, preparing our volunteer work, items to sell at the kids’ and vendor fairs- all in the midst of living life- doing the regular income-creating work, cooking and preparing food, playing with the children, etc. I have to admit that I was a little concerned about how we’d get on all living in the same house for three days. There are five children involved here – three who are sharing their home turf and two others who are out of theirs. It’s been no different than our average playdate, really. Superfun and slightly noisy with some arguing children mixed in for good measure.
On Communal Living
Why does it seem that the same adult to child ratio increases several times when we’re together? Cleaning, cooking, feeding, playing, caring, etc. all seem to go so much more smoothly even though there are more children! Let’s explore:
– the kids play together so much that free time for the adults to get other things done is much more plentiful.
– even though the number of children increases, one adult is entirely capable of hanging out with the entire crew which frees up THREE others to run errands, work their regular job, having computer time, cook, or pursue their own interests.
– one person is cleaning the same space (albeit slightly more messy sometimes with more children) which consolidates the efforts of two people who would have been cleaning separate spaces.
– there is always at least one adult with patience to cover for the (potentially) burnt out other three.
Maybe someday if we tire of our life on the road, we’ll consider one of the many unschool communities that are currently in their budding stages!
On Flexibility and Security
Part of our relaxed state is, surely, the hospitality and comfort of good friends. We’ve known the Quinns for over three years and, while the scenery on our journeys is different, have always been able to be open, honest, and supportive of each other. But it’s more than that.
After being on the road officially for over a month now, I (because I can always only know my own feelings and observe the actions and implied feelings of others) am feeling so versatile, relaxed, and mobile. There really is a sense that wherever we go, there we are. As long as we have internet so Chris can work, we are home anywhere and everywhere. There is no hurry to get back to anything, to go anywhere, no obligations to anyone but our own immediate family. Though we’re settling in, our previous reality- the one engrained as ‘normal’- does occasionally creep in and we have fleeting moments in which we wonder when this ‘vacation’ will be over… anxiety that we’ve missed a deadline… or have forgotten a meeting. The revelation (coming much more quickly now) is that this is real, functional life. Thinking outside the box has allowed us to decrease our expenses, earn income, and travel on next to nothing for fuel. What’s next?!
It feels wonderful to always be comfortable and present in this space and moment- to not need to be surrounded by our own things or see the same thing out our window everyday. Have our bonds as a family strengthened since the shedding of material goods and the standard model of living? Or have we just noticed them more without the physical distractions and ties of suburban-bound life?
Does it matter? It is… and it feels solid, connected, and joyful. That’s what matters.
(pictures soon to accompany this blog post- check back!)